Donald Trump’s words are still ringing in my ears. I can’t get the picture of his Monday press conference out of my mind. In what has to be the most despicable and ugly display by an American president in my lifetime, Trump made excuses for white supremacists and racists, declaring that “many of them are very fine people”, while drawing a line of false equivalence between tiki-torch caring Nazis shouting chants of “Jews will not replace us” and the decent people who saw no recourse but to stand up to them. I, like millions of Americans, watched the spectacle with sad and shocked horror. Never in my life had I expected to witness an American president signal his allegiance to the most detestable elements of our society, Nazis, racists, the KKK, in such a flagrant and obvious way. Sure, many politicians in this country have used dog-whistle style evasions to tip their hat to our nation’s hate groups, and organizations like Fox News and InfoWars have long traded in a sort of plausible denial, nudge nudge wink wink racism, but it was a surprise to me to see the leader of the free world give the big thumbs up to the loose collection of racists, white nationalists and anti-feminists that have become known as the AltRight.
Donald Trump called these scumbags “very fine people” and claimed they only shared equal blame with the American patriots that they beat and murdered in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. If we are being honest, these rabid racists and hatred filled pimples on the face of humanity could be called Donald Trump’s base. I have a better name for them, however. I like to call them what they really are. Terrorists.
What else could you call people who arm themselves to the teeth and parade around an American city, carrying torches and displaying the iconography of slavery and genocide, symbols that produce a very visceral reaction in African-Americans and Jewish-Americans, who remember vividly the suffering when those symbols have been displayed in the past? What other name should people be given who drive a car into a crowd of innocents, injuring many and causing the death of one young woman, Heather Heyer? When a radical Muslim in London or Paris drives a car into a crowd with the intent to injure and kill, we (and our president) have no problem labeling those individuals terrorists. I fail to see any difference at all between radical, murdering Muslims and radical, murdering good-old-boys here in the U.S.
The following day, white supremacist Andrew Anglin, in his online forum for all things racist and despicable, the Daily Stormer, celebrated Heather’s slaughter, saying she deserved to die and calling her a “fat, childless 32-year-old slut”. Wouldn’t you expect groups like ISIS and Al Queda to express similarly disgusting sentiments about their innocent victims? Google has now cancelled The Daily Stormer’s registration and GoDaddy, their web-host, has given them the boot, but evil punks like Anglin and his ilk don’t just go away. The latest news is that they have found a (surprise, surprise) Russian webhosting replacement and are going on with their loathsome business as usual.
It is time for people of good conscience to stand up and say “no more” to this garbage. We simply won’t allow racism and hatred to be normalized and legitimized and sympathized with. These are not “some very fine people”. Very fine people don’t goosestep through our streets, brandishing weapons and screaming hatred at anyone who is not the same color or Neanderthal mindset as them. Very good people do not commit violent murder. I mean, we have literally fought wars to defeat these vermin. These people are not the “AltRight” any more than crazy people are the AltSane or stupid people are the AltSmart. They are Nazis. They are racists. They are scumbags. They are terrorists.
Our president cannot bring himself to say this. He can’t do it because he needs these people. They are all he’s got. When the cage of Robert Mueller’s investigation and his conspiracy with Russia inevitably closes around him, these are the people he expects to take up arms and start a second American Civil War in his defense.
This we cannot allow. It starts with calling these dark stains on our national psyche by their real name, the name they truly deserve. Terrorist.
The terrorists are not Muslims and Mexicans, clamoring over Trump’s ridiculous wall to swarm into this country illegally. The terrorists are already here, in America, with us.